Score: Roma 4 Viktoria Plzen 1
Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Following a bitterly disappointing 2-1 late loss to Atalanta on Sunday In Serie A Roma would take a quick pause on their League aspirations to focus on their European campaign in match day 5 of their Europa league crusade against Czech Republic club Viktoria Plzen in their 2nd meeting against them in the Group stage of this tournament after picking up a 1-1 draw in their match day one fixture against them. Roma not in the greatest form lately could use this match as redemption that’s exactly what they would do Edin Dzeko and Roma’s high powered attack would be just too much of the little Czech’s to handle as they would cruise to a very hard fought 4-1 victory only needed a point to advance Roma would win the group and advance to the knockout rounds of the Europa league Roma would be the clear winner in this one Dzeko got things going in the 11th minute of the game Plzen would equalized later in the 1st half before Roma would really turn on the jets as they would cruise to an easy but memorable win thanks to goals from Hatrick hero Dzeko who added two more goals in and Diego Perotti found the net as well Sweden has gotten a little bit close.
Luciano Spalletti’s Orange and Red Army has struggled severely the last few games but Spalletti hasn’t let go of the Roma system he still has belief in the team he has been using this year he has kept the Roma dignity. Despite sometimes making brief changes to the formation a few times this season in the Europa league he stuck with his 4-5-1 formation he uses in Serie A. He made a few changes to the team he put out in Roma’s loss over the weekend but many of the regulars were still there. Allison Becker would start as the goal keeper the Brazilian has been there 1st choice keeper in this tournament. The back four stayed similar many of the usual suspects but some changes as well. Kosta Manolas would get rested for the game with the Greek International out of the match The Berlin Wall Antino Rudiger would move to center back after playing right back last weekend also The Brazilian Emerson filled in Rudiger spot at Right back those were the main changes the rest of the defense stayed the same another brazilin Bruno Peres would play his usual role as Left back and as expected Fazio would be the other center back playing aside of Rudiger. There would been only one change to the defensive midfield pair The Netherlands International Kevin Strotmen would get his 2nd straight start on the left side and joining him would be Leonardo Paredes the guy would cause the penalty Sunday that lost Roma the game however he has been pure quality most of the season especially in the Europa league he currently leads all players in the Europa league in passes completed he has come to his own this season despite his crucial mistake Sunday a very logical choice as the right defensive midfielder for the game. Than it would the infamous three headed monster attacking midfield but it would look a lot differently that it usually does. “The Prince of Egypt” Mohamed Salah would be there as usual in his regular spot Raji “The Tasmanian Devil” Nainggolan would also stay in his regular spot at center midfield there would be one change on the attacking midfield line Steepen El Shaaraey would get the night off as Juan Iturbe would get a rare start on the right wing a role that may become a more regular thing when Salah leaves January 17th to represent Egypt in the African cup. I like the tactic it gives Iturbe the chances to feel more comfortable in a starting role. Then of course the big men the 6’4 for Boasian Tower the team’s leading scorer striker Edin Dzeko. This isn’t the more challenging team so I think all the moves and changes that were made from the usual team makes logical sense still a very strong team.
Roma would return home from Atalanta in a gloomy mood after their loss on Sunday. They would have no time to dwell on it though as they returned home to get right back to work as they would continue their Journey in the Europa League hosting Viktoria Plzen for the 2nd time in their 5th game of the tournament after their earlier 1-1 draw with the Czech side it seemed like a must win they need it for their confidence and they would advance to the knockout stage with a win. Roma would go into the game as heavy favorites many pundits alike suspected a slugfest. Both teams were ready for this thanksgiving addition of Thursday night football as Edin Dzeko and Roma high powered offence went to battle against a fairly good Czech side. From the very beginning of the match Roma was given them serious problems it was made very aware that Roma are in a different class the Plzen. Very early in the game the found the net as they took the lead 11 minutes in. on a very dangerous breakaway with Nainggolan Salah and Dzeko moving fast towards the box Salah received the ball than passed it to Nainggolan who that made a quick pass into the box to find Dzeko the Bosnian international would beat one defender in traffic than took the ball almost to the point where the ball all most went out making another defender fall trying to defend him in the process he would turn with the ball preventing it from going out and he would turn at take a shot from a very difficult angle placing it in the back of the net with great precision to give Roma the 1-0 lead. With Dzeko scoring his 3rd in the Europa league and his team best 13th goal in all games this season as he has proven he is Roma’s most dangerous asset. Great team work made that happen beautiful passing by Salah and Nainggolan to set up a great goal. Roma kept the pressure on and continued to have some great scoring chances they were firmly in control of the game but football can be funny sometimes it only takes on good chance to score a goal 7 minutes after the opening goal Plzen would take their chance to equalized with a stunning goal. In the 18th minute the Czech side displayed great team work the Czechs went on the attack in a four-pass brilliant goal one of their defenses gave a through ball to a striker who passes to Jan Kovarik who was on the wing he would sent a perfect cross inside the box as Martain Zeman blasted a headed past Allison to equalize to make it 1-1. All of a sudden it became a game again anything less than the three point would be looked at as a disappointment. Roma would continue to outwit and dominate the match Dzeko had several more chances to increase the lead Itrube at a chance near the end on a of the half as well but no chance was better than perhaps than Salah’s 44th minute one on one that hit the post that would signal the end of the 1st half with the score even 1-1 despite the tie score Roma were in great shape after the 1st 45 minutes.
The 2nd half kicked off as Roma’s dominance continued it was a very one sided game Roma had attack after attack it was pretty clear that Roma were going to break through after a matter of time. They put together several great scoring chances only three minutes into the 2nd half Roma nearly scored Paredes on a free kick nearly found the net but they hit yet another crossbar in this game. Roma counited to fight for it than after several good chances the moment finally the came it would be you guessed it Edin Dzeko he has been absolute fire this season. In the 61st minute Defender Antione Rudiger brought the ball up from just outside the box the German would hit a well hit cross into the box only to find the 6’4 Edin Dzeko who used his height to headed in past the keeper a beautiful ball finding the bottom corner to give Roma the 2-1 advantage. It would be Dzeko’s 3rd goal in Europe and 14th in ALL games this season. After the goal, Diego Perotti would come on as a Subbed on coming in for Iturbe it would turn out to be a fantastic move. The visitors showed some fight as they had a few chances but overall, they were overpowered by the class of Roma they would strike again Diego Perotti would score an absolute stunner. While In the box in not the best angle he would chip the ball with his back foot over the defense and past the goal keeper to score an unreal goal to give Roma the 3-1 advantage almost certainly getting through to the knockout stage. Than late in the game in the 88th minute Dzeko would strike again to get his 3rd of the game getting the hat trick. Late the game Perotti and Dzeko took Roma on a 2 on 3 break In the box Perotti found Dzeko in the middle of the box and Dzeko hit in underneath the keeper with some deflection as it rolled in the back of the net to make it 4-1. It would be Dzeko’s 15th goal of the season and his 5th in Europa league taking him to 2nd in the scoring leaders. After full time, it would have finished 4-1 as a Roma win.
With Roma’s win they qualify for the knockout stage of the Europa league they also have won their group with a game left to play. In their Return to Italian Football they have they’re most difficult stretch of the season over the next few weeks after Roma’s very Winnable game against Pescara Next week is Derby Day as Roma take on Arch Rivals S.S Lazio will surely be one of the biggest games of the season the derby means so much for both teams. Than they follow that up against AC Milan than play League leaders Juventus but a very good performance.
MAN, OF THE MATCH: Edin Dzeko
NEXT Game in Europa League: @ Astra December 8th
Next Game in Serie A: vs Pescara November 27th
BY THE NUMBERS
Passing Accuracy: 86%
Passing Accuracy: 79%
Europa League Group F
1.Roma 3-2-0 11Pts
2. Astra 2-1-2 7pts
3. Austria Wein 1-2-2 5Pts
4. Victoria Plzen 0-3-2 3Pts